Monday, December 30, 2019

2019 Top Ten

It has been a busy year for the Pleasants!  Lots of good times, new experiences and now lots of changes on the horizon.  As I think back on it all, the blog is often the place I go.  While I use this blog to review products and keep friends and family informed on our lives, it is also a good reminder for me of where we have come from and where we are headed.  It is a reminder of the many blessings in our lives and of God's faithfulness.

It is also just fun to see what interests you the most!  So without further delay, here are the top ten posts of 2019!


10- A New Word Given

9- What Our Weekly Cleaning Looks Like

8- Drive Thru History Has Done it Again

7- Cracking the ACT

6- What's in a Day?

5- A Graduation, A Trip to Texas and What's Next!

4- The Kids in Our Life

3- Who Knew?

2- Welcome to 34 Weeks of Clean 2019

1- Modesty- A Command, Not a Conviction

It is no surprise that my oldest daughter's post is still number one around here.  Though written many years ago, that thing just flies around the Internet and gets read on a daily basis.  I will admit our standards and thoughts may have changed a bit here and there, but we are still convinced that modesty is an issue that needs to be taken more seriously!

Not sure where the blog will head this next year.  As my boys get older, the homeschool reviews grow thinner, and yet I know homeschoolers still come here looking for occasional advice and support.  We have to stick together, you know!  Next year I will only have one student at home- be still my heart.  BUT- on the other hand we have a move on the horizon and a possible house build, so you may get to see that each step of the way.  Obviously people still like to read about house related things like organizing and such.  And you KNOW, organizing is my passion!  Oh the possibilities! ;)

Either way, and no matter what draws you here, I pray you are blessed.


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

 From our house to yours- Merry Christmas!


  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11  (ESV)

May you experience the wonder, know His love, and follow Him with passion!  God sent His son to die on a cross so that we may live... may we always live lives that are worthy!


Monday, December 16, 2019

34 Weeks of Moving


About the 34 weeks part!  We will save that for cleaning and organizing.
Not kidding about the move, however.  And honestly, it could take WAY longer than 34 weeks.  Let's don't even go there right now.

So here is the plan.

Right after Christmas, the house gets stripped of all semblances of holiday cheer and put back together, all while doing a final mad-dash clean.

Then said clean house gets photographed.

Then put on the market a few days later (first full week of January probably) and an open house will take place the following day.

And then we wait.

Remember now, this is our plan- we will wait and see what the Lord's plan is.

Remember also, this is the same people who sold our last house in one day, then lost those buyers and did not sell is again until three months later.  And sat in a AirBNB in Scottsdale for three months.  Have I told you that story before?


Luckily this time we are being more realistic and are in no hurry to leave.

And before you ask-

YES, we are excited about this move.  On most days!
NO, it is not easy to leave friends.  That part is never easy. We are thankful it is only two hours away.
YES, it is sad.
NO, we don't think things are going to change.
YES, Clarke loves his new teaching job.
NO, we do not want him to commute away from us each week anymore.

OK, I think I have caught you up.  Sorry it was been quiet around here in Family, Faith and Fridays land- inset crickets chirping- but things have been a bit crazy here.

Stay tuned- I am pretty sure more craziness is to follow.  No, really!


Friday, December 13, 2019

Easy Art for the Win

You know I am not very creative, right?  Like, really, not very creative.  Not only do I not have much talent when it comes to artsy stuff, but I also lack the interest.  Glitter and glue are a part of my past I would like to keep in the past!

But here is the thing- I still have a 12 year old at home who likes an occasional art project.  And quite honestly, even if he did not, his left brain dominated world needs a little more right brain activity occasionally.

When I saw Khan Mosaics I knew it was a good compromise for us both.

Khan Mosaics is a two piece art kit that uses small foam geometric pieces to create a picture, in this case a gorilla and a tiger.  The picture is printed on a thin cardboard for durability, measuring a bit over 8x8.  The foam pieces are self sticking so no glue or anything extra is required. While this may not require much talent, it does require some patience and very good fine motor skill.

Each card is color coded to direct you in placing the titles, ensuring the correct size and shape, as well as numbered so you do not mess up.  The sticky backing is pretty forgiving and the tiles can be peeled off quickly and re-positioned if you mess up.  Ask me how I know this!

So far my son and I have completed one card, taking us about 20 minutes, working together.  He chose the tiger, and off we went.


He was quite gracious to allow me to do the little bitty triangles!


What we think-
This is a fun little kit!  Is is a bit challenging at times with the little pieces, but a great way to help develop fine motor skills!  It counts as art in my book, minus all the messy stuff.  That is a win!  Because of its size and price, I also think it would be a fun little gift to give.  

Overall it was time well spent and we are already planning on completing the next one- tomorrow!  Maybe I can do the larger pieces this time!

Khan Mosaics is also included in the Timberdoodle 4th Grade Curriculum kit.  

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Fighting for Freedom, One Book at a Time

Children's books intrigue me.  At one time I thought I would write them, but decided there were way more talented people out there that could better fill that need.  Two such people are Lynn and Jeff Yelton, authors of the newly released BUCK the CHUCK series.

Husband and wife team Lynn and Jeff feel strongly about freedom and the the system the founding fathers of America set up to provide and protect that freedom.  In an attempt to convey those concepts in a simple format to children, they created an unlikely hero, BUCK the woodchuck.  In BUCK the CHUCK- Thre Fight for Freedom, BUCK, along with his friend Thor the guardian pig, take on the BoozleBoops of swampy forest who want to take over Chucksville.  While Chucksville is a place of many colors and freedoms, the swampy forest is simply black and white, having given up their freedom for the promise of something better. They are now on a mission to take away everyone else's freedoms too.

This fun picture book is a delight to read, especially for kids who love all things animals.  The characters are endearing and comical.  A combination of narrative and conversational style, the story often reads like a comic book, taking quick pauses from the narration to hear what the characters are saying to each other.  While written for children, I would recommend it for a slightly older elementary to middle school age, as the pages are quite wordy at times, and well, let's face it- freedom is a difficult subject.

Lynn and Jeff use color, or the lack of it, to help describe freedom and what can happen when someone takes it away from us.  About half way through reading it, a light went off in my 12 year old's brain and he said, "Oh. I get it!"  After that he giggled his way through 'til the end and declared BUCK "pretty cool."

 BUCK the CHUCK helps kids answer the questions-

  • What is Freedom?
  • How do we lose it?
  • Can we get it back?
Good news for BUCK the CHUCK fans, a second book in the series BUCK the CHUCK- Let Freedom Sing,  is scheduled to be published in  Spring/Summer of 2020!

Looking for a few new books to add to your library?  Check out the BUCK the CHUCK series.  YOu may find your child has a new hero in their life.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

What Have YOU Overcome?

Those who know me or know this blog well know that I am always pretty hesitant to recommend movies.  Since we are not big television people around here at Family, Faith and Fridays, movies are our go to and usually on Friday nights we can be found snuggling around the TV enjoying some quiet down time together.  But, we are pretty picky (think conservative) and know that movie watching is very subjective.  I have also gotten burned recommending movies in the past and usually try to steer clear of that kind of stress these days.

That being said, I am breaking my rule and telling you to go grab a DVD of the newly released Kendricks Brothers movie Overcomer!

There, I said it.

But, really, go get a copy!

 Overcomer is the #1 Inspirational Family Film of 2019

From their recent press release-

OVERCOMER is from the creators of the #1 box-office hit War Room. Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison (Kendrick) after he loses his basketball team and is challenged by the school’s principal, Olivia (Shirer), to coach a new sport he doesn’t know or like. As John questions his own worth, he dares to help the least likely runner take on the biggest race of the year. Filled with a powerful mix of faith, humor and heart, this inspirational story will have you on the edge of your seat.

Available just in time for gifting!
DVD is packed with tons of features and extras!

The Blu-ray, DVD and digital release come with an extensive array of bonus material, including 10 minutes of extended and deleted scenes, fun bloopers, exclusive commentary by the Kendrick Brothers, moving in-depth looks at the power of forgiveness, identity and more.

OVERCOMER has runtime of approximately 119 minutes and is rated PG for some thematic elements. 

Why do we watch Kendrick Brothers movies?

Simply put, "Kendrick Brothers Productions is the company of brothers Alex, Stephen, and Shannon Kendrick that exists to honor God and share the truth and love of Jesus Christ through movies, books, curriculum and speaking."  While the Kendrick Brother movies started off a bit amateur in our opinion, we have always loved their messages of faith and hope.  We have also been encouraged that with each additional movie, the quality and acting has improved ten fold.  Finding family friendly movies that can be watched with a mixed age group is challenging but Kendrick Brothers movie fit the bill.

Why we enjoyed Overcomer-
We have a sports loving son, so while he was unsure of how he would feel about the movie, he was pulled in by the fact that is was sports related.  Yes, it does contain some mature themes such as death, but the themes of love, and doing things for God's glory, and forgiveness, and pushing oneself in hard circumstances are what you will remember in the end.  We had the privilege of seeing Overcomer in the theater, and there were a few times people actually clapped during it!  It's a feel good movie with a positive message of determination in the face of fear!

You can find resources for your church and family on the Overcomer website-
“Will Have You Cheering…” -- The Dove Foundation

“A powerful, family friendly film!” – Christian Film Review




Hashtag: #overcomermovie